First visit to Compass Coffee's new location

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keno
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Postby keno » Jan 23, 2016, 7:49 pm

I stopped in for the grand opening of the new Compass location today after lunch. Here's a summary of my impressions and experience. From the outside it looks rather unassuming.

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In contrast, the interior space is beautiful. They clearly put a lot of thought into the materials and design. It's very inviting and cozy. The bar is fantastic. I stood at the bar and got to watch the baristas in action.

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The 3 group white Synesso is beautiful. The barista I spoke to said they were using a 4 stage pressure profile. If I recall correctly it was a 4-6-9-6 bar.

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They have a really nice selection of roasted coffee in a wide range of sizes, including 4 oz, 12 oz, 2 lb, and 5 lb bags. But unfortunately they really didn't have much at all in the way of baked goods, maybe sold out?

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I had a macchiato made with Ethiopian Chelbesa. It was fruity and bright without being sour. Very tasty and definitely of the caliber of other top Portland area cafes. I like the way they display the info for each coffee on the bar in front of the Macap M7D grinders.

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My one gripe would be that it took quite a while before I got my drink and it wasn't all that crowded. Standing at the bar made it clear why: they had only one barista at work and he simply couldn't keep up with everything. As soon as he was able to enlist some assistance with prepping the portafilters things moved along. Totally forgivable given that it was opening day and they are probably all still figuring out the workflow.

In any case if you are in downtown Vancouver, WA I highly recommend you check it out!


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Postby Compass Coffee » Jan 23, 2016, 8:16 pm

Hydra 3-6-9-6 bar stages.

Yup ~80 pastries delivered 4:30am, sold out before noon. Upped tomorrow's order...

Don't know what time you were here for sure but we've served over 300 double shot espresso beverages so far 7am to now 4:10pm. Morning was slammed with 6 on staff. Beverages were moving out at a rather fast clip. Around Noon or something like that starting letting people take lunch breaks etc. so you may have hit with a work position change and person may not have been quite up to speed new flow yet, my apologies.
Mike McGinness, Head Bean (Owner/Roast Master)
http://www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com

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Boldjava
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Postby Boldjava » Jan 23, 2016, 8:51 pm

Compass Coffee wrote:Hydra 3-6-9-6 bar stages...


Mike, not a 'presso head. Just an '82 Cremina at home.

For those of less bent to espresso, what do those numbers represent? Bars of pressure at successive stages of a shot?
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Postby Compass Coffee » Jan 23, 2016, 10:06 pm

Boldjava wrote:Mike, not a 'presso head. Just an '82 Cremina at home.

For those of less bent to espresso, what do those numbers represent? Bars of pressure at successive stages of a shot?

Ya...
Mike McGinness, Head Bean (Owner/Roast Master)
http://www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com

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drgary
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Postby drgary » Jan 24, 2016, 1:47 am

Janet and I took a drive downtown today and visited the new Compass Coffee location. Mike, Brian and company have pulled out all the stops. The ambiance of the shop is beyond what these photos can show. It all comes together. And it's about time. They're open for business!
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The place was packed but not crowded.
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The steampunk chandelier overhead was designed and built by Mike to code.
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This place is filled with architectural details, like the original flooring they discovered three layers down.
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The second layer of flooring now lives on the wall behind the bar and frames the compass logo.
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There's a compass clock.
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And the theme is carried to the wall next to the espresso bar.
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It's stocked with top-grade equipment, including this Fetco 2152 XTS touchscreen programmable brewer, and the Mahlkonig EK 43 grinder next to it. They're awaiting delivery of a Fetco HWD-2105TOD water tower that can deliver water between 205° and 158°F with the ability to pre-set four temperatures +/- 3°.
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Everyone was pitching in, including Mike in the blue/green shirt behind the bar. His partner Brian's the barista tending the Synesso Hydra in Ken's series of shots above.
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By now Justin had taken on the barista duties.
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The barware is in the new color scheme of their logo, orange and green.
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I had an Idido single origin espresso that was floral and rich. Janet had an unusual decaf latte flavored with Earl Grey tea and honey. These flavors combined into a delicious Middle Eastern spice mix with a smokey background flavor.
Gary
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doubleOsoul
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Postby doubleOsoul » Jan 24, 2016, 2:02 am

Great looking place - congrats! Thanks for posting. I'll have to make a stop when I finally make my way down.
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Postby Compass Coffee » Jan 24, 2016, 3:43 am

Just learned about the Fetco TOD (Temperature On Demand) water towers first of the week and immediately ordered one. The programmable ability to dispense 4 different water temperatures of your choosing on demand makes it the equivalent of 4 hot water sources. Quite the elegant solution for water for pour overs and black teas top temp 205f, lower temps for Americano, green teas and way down for white tea. It'll replace four 5l Zoji's using temporarily. Also have a 5 gal Bunn tower with added PID control had in old location which was going to install but not now, will wait for the Rolls Royce of towers to arrive. :wink:

Turned coffee professional both roasting and coffee shop simultaneously on a shoe string $40k 2007. Took buying everything used except the USRC roaster. Eight and a quarter years later of blood, sweat, long recession weathering 90-100 hour weeks for a number of years to the point of literally deaths door in the ER now able to open our dream ~$200k downtown coffee house without outside funding. (Well sort of, $130k loan from Debi & I to the company - from Debi's retirement account). It is sweet not having to settle for 2nd hand or 2nd best equipment or coffee house space itself any longer!
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JmanEspresso
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Postby JmanEspresso » Jan 27, 2016, 5:01 pm

What a fantastic looking spot! Truthfully Mike, it looks just.. honestly, there is only one word. Pro.

Sh^^^t... And a CORNER spot in downtown?? Who'd you kill? lol

Seriously man, congratulations, and the best of luck going forward. However, from the looks of this place, luck is the last thing you need :)

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Postby Compass Coffee » Jan 27, 2016, 9:22 pm

JmanEspresso wrote:What a fantastic looking spot! Truthfully Mike, it looks just.. honestly, there is only one word. Pro.
Thanks, we worked very hard on it and had a good designer help (customer).

Sh^^^t... And a CORNER spot in downtown?? Who'd you kill? lol
Due diligence. We'd been actively looking for over 2 years for a bigger Downtown location and had feelers out with other business owners. One day Bry got a call from one of the former tenant's neighbor they were moving out. We took a look from the outside, immediately contacted the landlord and scheduled a look around inside and signed a lease before it ever hit the market as available. 17 months & ~$200k later it's highly likely one of THE killer coffee spots in the PNW. New electrical, water and sewer services had to be brought in which ain't cheap and heck besides custom reclaimed barnwood furniture etc. have ~$15k in just light fixtures, guarantee none from the likes of Home Depot! (Not quite true, 2 led track flood light bars behind the soffit working bar side from HD)

Seriously man, congratulations, and the best of luck going forward. However, from the looks of this place, luck is the last thing you need :)
Thanks again! Luck = when hard work and opportunity meet. :wink: We expected an immediate business increase because of location and about triple the seating capacity combined with no holds barred gorgeous interior paired with top equipment and coffee but pleasantly surprised so far. Today is only day 5 since opening but everyday so far has seen a gross revenue 60% or more increase over corresponding recent same day of the week. If you are a business owner you know that is huge! Especially since we'd already been growing strong steadily, up 194% 2015 versus 2012. Yeah we be justifiably proud of what we've accomplished elevating the coffee seen in Clark County Washington to we honestly believe be on par with anyone anywhere in the world.

Still a lot of fine tuning and tweaking to do, there always will be, but we be rockin'! :D

Of course we're already talking about some remodeling to replace all or most current time consuming work flow stopping manual coffee and tea brewing with an Alpha Dominche Steampunk. Oh yeah it's way nice to be able to discuss such things now not as a distant dream but attainable near future reality! If you've never dared to face all fears and obstacles head-on no matter what and really follow a passionate dream, you'll never know how great it feels. A failure is only failing when you give in and stop trying to move forward. Lost our house during the bad years of the long recession to keep the doors open and you know what, worth it no regrets.
Mike McGinness, Head Bean (Owner/Roast Master)
http://www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com

Gig103
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Postby Gig103 » Jan 29, 2016, 1:17 pm

Congrats on a beautiful new location, Mike!
Not sure when I will be back seeing family in Portland but when the time comes, I will drive over the river to visit!